Maintaining a safe and healthy home environment is understandably a huge priority for families during the COVID-19 pandemic. Even when this is over, there will likely remain a lingering desire to minimize the spread of viruses, as well as a hyper-vigilant approach to disinfecting and cleaning.
Coronaviruses like COVID-19 are certainly not the only threats to a household’s lungs. Mold and mildew have been a persistent problem in homes for as long as people have been living indoors. The American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine estimate 10 percent of Americans have mold allergies.
People with mold allergies aren’t the only ones at risk. The CDC estimates 25 million Americans have asthma, another lung condition that could increase a person’s sensitivity to indoor air pollutants.
Family members with breathing issues could be put at severe risk should they contract coronavirus and are quarantined in a home with compromised air quality.
Thoroughly cleaning surfaces that can be easily disinfected is important, including your flooring. However, not all materials are equal when it comes to maintaining indoor air quality. Dust, spores and other irritants can be easily
harbored in carpets, for example. Some flooring materials are also much more likely to contribute to mold growth when wet, such as wood floors and carpet.
Luxury vinyl tile (LVT) and plank are some of the more waterproof and mold resistant flooring options. They don’t harbor dust and irritants and can be easily disinfected. Many types of LVT, including Metroflor’s Engage Genesis line, also boast anti-microbial properties.
Common Places for Mold Growth
Water damage isn’t always obvious right away. Leaks in windows, pipes behind walls and roofs can go unnoticed if the water goes through the drywall or behind furniture. If a leak occurs in a relatively unused part of a home, it can take weeks or months to discover the damage.
Carpets and carpet padding are especially susceptible to mold. If the water dries on the surface you may not even notice a leak was ever there, but that won’t stop the mold from growing in the carpet padding and the underside of the carpet.
These hidden molds are often the most dangerous. People continue living in the home – including those with asthma, allergies or breathing conditions – without quickly discovering and eliminating the source of their worsening symptoms.
Conditions that Lead to Mold Growth
There are four things mold needs to grow in a home, and all four are unfortunately common. They are:
- The mold spores themselves
- Dampness in the form of water or condensation – even damp air in places where humidity is consistently over 60 percent could allow for mold growth on certain surfaces
- A temperature between 40 and 100 degrees, which is a range most homes always maintain
- Some type of nutrient for the mold, which includes things like drywall, wood flooring, carpets and their pads – really anything made with organic materials
People living in humid areas, especially in homes with wood flooring or carpet, need to be hypervigilant for any water on flooring. Even small spills need to be cleaned up immediately. With carpet that can be especially difficult. Even seemingly superficial moistness has the potential to lead to mold growth.
If you want to prevent mold growth in your home or you suspect you may already have a mold problem, we encourage you to follow the CDC’s recommendations for preventing, identifying and eliminating mold.
Luxury Vinyl Tile and Luxury Vinyl Plank Flooring Resists Mold Growth
The Engage Genesis line of flooring from Metroflor is our cutting-edge waterproof vinyl flooring solution. This luxury vinyl tile and luxury vinyl plank (LVP) flooring, in addition to being 100 percent waterproof, is treated with the Ultra-Fresh antimicrobial protection to keep unhealthy elements at bay.
This antibacterial and antifungal treatment keeps surfaces clean, odor free and fresh even if they’ve been exposed to moisture. LVT and LVP with Ultra-Fresh protection is also highly resistant to odors and stains, making them great for kitchens and living areas, especially in homes with pets and children.
In addition to the ultra-fresh antimicrobial treatment, the flooring is manufactured with ISOCORE technology, which provides exceptional strength, rigidity and easy floating installation. The Engage Genesis line of flooring also has a sound deadening underlayment attached, making for homes that are comfortably peaceful.
There’s no reason homes and businesses should have to sacrifice on quality to get the safe and healthy indoor environment they deserve. The line features nearly a dozen beautiful flooring options, including ultrarealistic stone tile and hardwood plank designs. You can get the authentic look of hardwood floors in your home without any of the potential mold or mildew-growing drawbacks of the real thing.
These extremely low-maintenance flooring options also come with a great warranty for your peace of mind.